Last week, we closed the books on December -- and 2018. All the major domestic stock market averages finished both the December quarter as well as 2018 in the red. The hardest hit, at down more than 12% in 2018, was the Russell 2000, while the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq fared somewhat better -- falling between 3.9%-6.2% for the year. In short, the challenging December quarter erased the gains all those major indices had registered during the first nine months of the year.
Even though it was hard hit during the last few months of 2018, the Real Money Post Industrial Average RMPIA delivered both an absolute win and a relative one to finish 2018 up 1.9%. Much like the major market indices, RMPIA experienced double-digit declines during the December quarter, as positions in Apple (AAPL) , Allergan (AGN) , Amazon (AMZN) , Celgene (CELG) and Netflix (NFLX) experienced meaningful declines. All in all, 28 of RMPIA's 30 constituents lost ground during the last three months of 2018. The two positive contributors were Broadcom (AVGO) and Starbucks (SBUX) .
RMPIA is a modified market-cap weighted portfolio consisting of 30 of the most important stocks in the market today.
For 2018 in full, RMPIA's positive return and several hundred basis point outperformance relative to the major market indices was fueled by double-digit returns in 12 of the 30 constituents. The high fliers among those 12 included Netflix and its impressive 39% move higher in 2018; Salesforce (CRM) and its 34% return 2018; Adobe Systems (ADBE) , which rose more than 29% in 2018; Amazon, which more than eked out a 28% return despite its December quarter drop; and Express Scripts (ESRX) , which rose almost 24% year-over-year in 2018.
Even though the year-end 2018 holidays are now firmly in the rear-view mirror, a number of the challenges and uncertainties that pressured the market in the last few months of 2018 remain. These include a slowing global economy, U.S.-China trade issues, geopolitical issues in the eurozone and Brexit, to name a few. We've started to see consensus expectations for the S&P 500 to move lower for both the December quarter earnings season, as well as for 2019.
At the heart of it, investors are reassessing growth prospects for both the economy and corporate earnings. Odds are the negative December quarter earnings pre-announcement we received last week from Apple won't be the only one. But as a reminder, the RMPIA index is not focused on opportunities to be had in one week, one month or one quarter, but rather the longer term.
As we head into 2019, we'll make adjustment as needed to RMPIA to have it better reflect the tailwinds and opportunities to be had in coming 12-24 months. Will this mean a dramatic shakeout in the 30 constituents? Given the favorable tailwinds associated with a number of the holdings, the answer is no, but there will be at least a handful of adjustments. Case in point, we will have to account for Cigna's (CI) acquisition of Express Scripts and the pending acquisition of Celgene by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) .